Pork Tenderloin with Soy Ginger Reduction!

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In my early 20s, I wouldn’t dare cook any other protein except Chicken. I fell into a comfort zone that lasted for several years. As I stumble into my now late-20s, I have grown much bolder. My past successes in the kitchen have created a level of confidence and I now longer shutter at the sight of raw pork tenderloin.

Last night, I decided enough is enough. I LOVE pork tenderloin but have never made it myself. Using everyday ingredients I have in the kitchen, I created the most tender pork with a heavenly Asian-inspired reduction sauce. I also served sweet potato baked ‘fries.’ I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately and those fake fries deemed the perfect accompaniment.

I recommend marinating the tenderloin for approximately 2 hours in the kitchen prior to cooking. I would also suggest letting the tenderloin get to room temperature, which takes about an hour, prior to cooking. I marinate my tenderloin in a gallon size Ziploc bag.

Soy-Ginger Marinade:

Whisk together:

2/3 cup low sodium chicken brother

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

2 teaspoons lime juice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, grated

3 tablespoons of grated fresh ginger (no need to peel)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon EVOO

As the meat is marinating, you can prepare your ‘fries.’ I don’t own any fancy fry gadgets so I hand cut these.

When the meat is near ready to go, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scatter the sweet potato fries on a lightly greased baking pan. I use fat free Olive Oil cooking spray. Lightly coat the fries in pepper, sea salt & cayenne pepper. Toss gently. It’s now time to stick everything in the oven! I remove the tenderloin from the marinade and placed it on a lightly greased cooking skillet. Put the tenderloin on the oven’s middle rack. I placed the potato fries on the bottom rack.

As the goods are cooking, you can make the delicious reduction that accompanies the dish. Pour remaining marinade through strainer and boil on medium-high in a small sauce pan. After boiling approximately 15 minutes, reduce to low and add 2 tablespoons of chicken broth as it continues to simmer. By the time the meat is done, you will be left with a delicious and moderately thick ginger-soy reduction.

After approximately 35-40, your pork tenderloin should be 155 degrees and ready to go. Kick up the oven to 450 degrees and let the fries crisp a little more as your meat rests.

I prefer to let my pork rest for approximately 10 minutes before cutting it into half-inch thick medallions.

After cutting it up, your fries should be removed from the oven and ready to go!

After plating the meat, lightly drizzle the reduction on top of the pork. Eat & Enjoy!

Happy (almost) St Patty’s Day!

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In honor of one of my favorite holidays, I’m going to share my current fav in the Green juice World. This recipe features my Costco Find Of The Week:
Organic Golden Flax (cold milled golden flax seed)
It’s the perfect additive to your smoothie or morning cereal. Rich in Omega-3s, low cal and aids digestion… Can’t complain. Plus the taste is mellow unlike some other additives (cough:: Soy Protein:: cough… YUCK)

recipe:
St. Patty’s Day Green Juice

1 cup raw organic spinach
1/2 cup raw kale
1 small apple, cubed
1/2 pear, cubed
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon flax seed
3 ice cubes

Throw in Vitamix, liquids first.. Blend on high for 60 seconds and enjoy!

How cute is my green plastic mason jar?

Xo,
CC

WEDDINspiration: It’s Booked!

March, 2015… Walt Disney World here we come! Very excited to announce that we have booked our Disney wedding for next Spring. Over the coming year, I’m going to be blogging about everything and anything that goes into becoming a Disney bride. The experience with their staff has been top notch so far (Shout out to consultant Michelle!) and I expect that it will continue that way.

Our wedding theme is inspired by our favorite event of the year: The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. A tradition I started with my family and now carry on with my soon-to-be-hubby, each fall we make the annual pilgrimage to Florida to enjoy delicious food and drinks from all across the globe. I can not urge people enough to experience this unparalleled celebration at least once in their lifetime. I’m hoping to draw inspiration from it in creating a wedding that will be as unique and special as this event… and now onto our venues at WDW!

Our morning ceremony will be held at the EPCOT Italy Pavilion center plaza before the park opens to the public.

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Guest will then hop aboard the Friendship Boat and be transported via the waterways to our reception.

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The reception will be held at the Atlantic Dance Hall, in the BoardWalk area. It will kick-off with a brunch-style Mimosa and Bloody Mary cocktail hour then lead into lunch and a dance party.

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Guests will then be able to relax and unwind in the late afternoon before returning to EPCOT for a private Dessert & Champagne Fireworks viewing party of Illuminations. This will be held at the France Pavilion’s Terrace des Fleurs, a private island area overlooking the lagoon.

Terrace des Fleurs

Super excited for the planning process and of course, the magical day!

xo,

CC

 

It’s Taco Tuesday!

I just bought my very first Crockpot! My first adventure with this versatile tool is Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos! It was my first time making it and was shocked at how juicy the chicken came out! I had a late start to the day so with only a few hours left until dinner time, I opted to place the chicken in the pot with a HIGH heat setting (if you arrange in morning, place on low setting, at least 6 hours depending on your machine). The chicken breasts were of medium size and cooked completely in 2 hours. Now onto the delicious liquids and spices that make the dish…

After placing the chicken in the crock pot, next add:

Crockpot Chicken Taco Broth:

Half cup water

Half cup chicken stock (low sodium)

1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons taco sauce (I used Ortego original taco sauce)

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon chopped onions

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

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Stir occasionally to avoid sauce sticking to side of pot. When completely cooked, shred with fork and ladle remaining juices over the chicken. Serve immediately.

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When you are patiently waiting for the chicken to be done, make my super easy Guacamole! Occasionally on taco night, I am working on several things at once and want to do a simplistic version of guacamole, without all the chopped ingredients. This version is simple, delicious, and you won’t even miss the fresh chopped tomato and onion.

Carly’s Easy Guac

1 Avocado (pitted and smashed)

1 tablespoons of Lime juice

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon cayenne powder

It’s perfect to snack on as an appetizer while waiting for chicken, or even add on top of the chicken tacos.

TIP: if you have any leftover, spray with non-stick olive oil cooking spray before placing in fridge to avoid any yucky browning.

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ON THE ROAD: Ducks & Daiquiris in Memphis

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This is the first of my new series, ON THE ROAD. I’ve been extremely blessed with a life and career that allows me to do quite a bit of traveling. For me, there aren’t too many things more exciting than pulling into a new city…feels like discovering uncharted territory! Luckily, my fiancée also shares that passion with me and has become my go-to travel buddy.

This past weekend, we were traveling back from a friend’s birthday party in Little Rock, Arkansas and noticed that our GPS was routing us right through Memphis, TN. Having only been once for a short weekend trip, we decided to make a day out of it!

Here’s the Adventures By Carly MUST SEE, MUST EAT, MUST DRINK:: MEMPHIS

MUST SEE: The infamous ducks at the Peabody Hotel. This luxury hotel is home to the “Peabody Ducks” that have made their home on the rooftop. A tradition dating back to the 1930s that has turned into one of Memphis’ most popular attractions, every day at 11 am and 5 pm  the Peabody Ducks march in procession to and from the Grand Lobby. A definite must-see on your trip to Memphis! Plus, how cute are ducks? The Peabody Hotel, 149 Union Ave, Memphis, TN 38103

MUST EAT: It’s no surprise that Memphis is home to some of the best BBQ in the country. Located on world famous Beale Street, our favorite is The Pig On Beale. This reasonable priced BBQ joint features signature sauces, ‘Sweet’ and ‘Spicy,’ that I’ve found to be some of the best homemade sauces I’ve ever had. The meat selections are tender and extremely moist. Try the Smoked Turkey sandwich with some ‘Spicy’ sauce and a side of BBQ Baked Beans! The Pig On Beale, 167 Beale Street, Memphis, TN, 38103

MUST DRINK: I LOVE Daiquiris. Whenever I’m in a new city, one of my first Google searches is for a Daiquiri bar. These sweet concoctions instantly relax you and transport your mind to an island far, far away…With locations in South Beach, Atlantic City and Charlotte, Wet Willie’s tops my list as Favorite Daiquiri Spot. Fortunately, there is one on Beale Street. My favorite flavor is the Call A Cab. Warning: it is pretty darn strong. Be Careful. Happy Sipping. Wet Willie’s, 209 Beale Steet, Memphis, TN 38103

A Dollar Make Me Holla!

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I love my weekly trips to Target. There’s nothing quite like going into a store for ONE thing and coming out with an overflowing cart and a wallet 100 bucks lighter. Today’s raid was no different. I went for toilet paper but left with so much more…

The Target dollar section can be hit or miss. Today, my friends, it was a HIT. If you are at all crafty you will love the selection that they currently have. My favorite find was a custom date stamp and glitter ink. Having just booked my wedding this week, i’m excited to get creative with these finds! STAY TUNED for some WEDDINspiration.

More Pesto Please!

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I usually don’t plan out the week’s menus in advance. Usually what I make that night is prompted by a strong craving from either me or my fiancee. I woke up yesterday REALLY wanting Pesto. My plan was to head to the grocery store after work, grab the ingredients I needed and head to my kitchen. Unfortunately, an ice storm kept me in my house all day BUT I was not willing to give up on my notion of making a delicious pesto grilled chicken for dinner!

After a quick scan of my kitchen, I realized i was missing the two essential ingredients to making a traditional pesto sauce: Fresh Basil & pine nuts. Ugh. Bummer.

What I did have was a 4 pound bag of Fresh Spinach…hmmm. Let’s do this! The result was the BEST Pesto sauce I’ve ever head. For Real. I found that I didn’t even miss the use of nuts in this recipe! I served it over grilled chicken and combined it with my Costco find of the week: GHIGI Organic pasta straight from Italy.

NO NUT SPINACH PESTO SAUCE

3 cups Fresh Spinach

1 Cup EVOO

1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon Water

2 Tablespoons Fresh Grated Parmesan

1 Tablespoon Dry Basil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 Tablespoon Chicken Stock (low sodium)

6 Garlic Gloves (chopped and sauteed in EVOO)

Combine all ingredients in Vitamix (or blender, food processor, etc.) starting with the liquids first and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. You can store the remaining sauce in an air tight container in your refrigerator  or freeze in an ice cube tray for several months.

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